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EAB Overview: March 2017

The EAB met in January and had presentations from BT, Openreach and the OTA2.

Changes to Openreach’s governance

Mike McTighe, the new Chairman of Openreach, observed our January meeting and updated us on the planned governance changes in Openreach, including the creation of an Openreach committee to monitor compliance. While BT’s proposal to Ofcom is that this committee will eventually subsume the activities of the EAB, the EAB will continue to perform its current role whilst the Undertakings remain in place. We therefore asked the EAO to put forward a proposal for the parallel running of the two bodies which ensured the continued fulfilment of all the EAB’s responsibilities but avoided duplication.

We noted that Edward Astle, one of the independent EAB members, would be appointed to the Openreach board whilst serving on the EAB. We discussed how we would manage Edward’s conflict of interest whilst he remained on the EAB and agreed that we would develop a protocol, to be agreed with EAB members and then shared with Ofcom.


Jonathan Oxley of Ofcom and Sean Williams of BT presented separately to us, updating us on the strategic review (DCR) negotiations. We noted Jonathan’s emphasis that Ofcom expected us to remain focused during this period of change and confirmed we were committed to performing our role with rigour.

Openreach KPI review

Rod Smith and David Halliday of the OTA2 also presented, providing us with an update on industry views and concerns. We discussed the OTA2 / EAO joint review of Openreach KPIs, and noted that the ‘Missed Appointments’ review has now concluded. This review confirmed that the data Openreach reports on this metric to industry is accurate and Missed Appointments are both improving and performing equivalently.

Following consultation with industry, the EAO and OTA2 are now reviewing the Ethernet Provision Appointments Furthers KPI and will report the results of this to our April meeting. Further KPIs have been identified for review in 2017/18.


Following discussions at our last meeting, Clive Selley and Fergus Crockett of Openreach presented Openreach’s new SOR dashboard, which incorporates a consolidated view from industry on the progress on individual SORs. Openreach additionally set out a new framework for how it treats SORs, which differentiates between large strategic developments, standard product enhancements, and small changes which can be quickly implemented. Openreach reported that it intends to take action on long-standing SORs, expand the dashboard to include its new customer consultation process and build it into the new Openreach governance arrangements. We asked Openreach to work with the EAO to provide us with a regular dashboard update on SORs.

Delivery of systems migrations

BT reported that it remained on track to achieve its internal forecasts of 99.8% EoI migration and 98.4% CSR migration by April 2017, and to achieve ISDN2 Level 2 separation by that date. It will continue to migrate records after this date and will provide a further update to our next meeting in April.


There were three breaches on which we concluded at our January meeting:





Failure of UK-facing overseas employees to complete the mandatory Undertakings training, as it was not correctly assigned to them


Training has now been completed by the relevant employees. BT has reviewed training assignment for overseas employees who do UK work and its processes for assigning training following organisational changes. Internal Audit will be reviewing the management processes and controls over setting and approving the population assigned the Undertakings training.

Inappropriate sharing of Openreach CI, when an email was sent to an EE employee with the same surname as the intended Openreach recipient


The email was deleted unread and was not shared with any third party.

Failure to provide an Openreach engineer with an Openreach-branded van


The engineer now has a correctly-branded van and Openreach has reviewed the process checks conducted when vans are issued to engineers

Risk management

We reviewed our risk register for 2017/18 and an ‘assurance map’ summarising the assurance work undertaken by the EAO, Openreach, BT and PwC, our external auditors, to monitor BT’s compliance with the Undertakings. We have asked for an updated version of both the risk register and the assurance map for review at our next meeting.

Product Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

BT published KPIs showing the output performance of its regulated wholesale products. The KPI charts for each product portfolio compare service performance for BT’s business units to that for other CPs.


CI – Commercial Information, a term defined in the Undertakings
CSR - Customer Side Record, defined in the Undertakings as a Customer Service Record relating to BT as a purchaser from Openreach
DCR - Digital Communications Review, Ofcom’s strategic review of the communications market
EAB – Equality of Access Board
EAO - Equality of Access Office
EoI - Equivalence of Inputs, defined in the Undertakings to mean that BT provides the same product or service to all Communications Providers on the same timescales, terms and conditions by means of the same systems and processes
KPIs - Key Performance Indicators
OTA2 - Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator 2
SOR - Statement of Requirements, the process set out in the Undertakings for a Communications Provider to submit a request to BT for new or enhanced Network Access